Higher Education for Climate Change Action – Business School Engagement (Part 1)

hesiOn October 14th, the Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI) will be meeting in Paris. HESI is a consortium of UN entities created in the run up to Rio+20. Through HESI, higher education institution signatories commit to teach sustainable development concepts in the core curriculum, encourage research on sustainable development issues, green their campuses and support sustainability efforts in the communities in which they reside.

The theme of this year’s HESI meeting, Higher Education for Climate Change Action is an opportunity to take stock of progress made since Rio+20 by sharing best practices and lessons learned, discuss the roles and responsibilities of higher education institutions in business and technological innovations around climate change adaptation and mitigation, and encourage new or enhanced commitments, particularly around the facilitation of academic, and scientific inputs into the formulation of climate policies. The meeting will also result in the formulation of a message and a set of policy recommendations to be presented to the UNFCC Secretariat at COP21.

The Copenhagen Conference Declaration: A Call to Action for Management Education, presented in 2009, called on business schools around the world to integrate climate-related topics into management education, research the role of the low carbon economy, and to lead by example in order to inspire the way forward for future generations. Since then, business schools have actively incorporated climate change into their curriculum, research and campus greening activities.

In preparation for this meeting, here are examples of how the PRME network is engaged in climate change topics.

Through partnerships with business

Sabanci University in Turkey is the local partner and host of the Carbon Disclosure Project since 2010. CDP-Turkey has been a transformational project for Turkey’s corporate sector. As of 2014, forty-one Turkish companies reported their emissions and climate change strategies with their help. The CDP-Turkey project created a medium for disseminating knowledge around climate change and corporate responsibility, collecting valuable data for research, and facilitate mutual learning. The project, which has proven to be an excellent instrument for a multi-stakeholder dialog and debate on sustainability involving all related parties has been realised with corporate sponsorship of one of the largest banks in Turkey; Akbank, and E&Y Turkey office. In addition to Carbon Disclosure Leadership Award launched in 2011, Carbon Disclosure Performance Leadership Award was launched in 2013. Another climate change related project is implemented in partnership with Coca Cola Foundation to improve CDP activities in Russia which resulted in fourteen Russian companies reporting through CDP in 2014. For more information visit http://cdpturkey.sabanciuniv.edu/

Local Engagement

ISAE/FGV in Brazil is actively engaged in Curitiba City Hall’s Climate Change Forum. Curitiba, the city where ISAE is based, is a member of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, a network of cities committed to addressing climate change. This Forum is composed of city hall, universities, industry sector and others that periodically meet to discuss how the city is and will deal with climate change. The school also launched a course earlier this year on “Law and Economics of Climate Change” that looks at the science of climate change, the United Nations Framework on Climate Change and related negotiations. The school is actively engaged in reducing its own emissions and reports on specific in its Sharing Information on Progress report.

Through student work

Executive MBA candidates at University of Technology Sydney Business School in Australia have been undertaking a study which aims to ensure risks such as climate change, human rights abuses and corruption are considered in big infrastructure projects in collaboration with the world’s leading insurers. The project, “Insurers’ Role in Sustainable Growth” surveys how insurers integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks into their agreements. The results will feed into a project involving the United Nations, the World Bank and the world’s largest reinsurer, Munich Re looking at how the insurance industry can strengthen its contribution to “sustainable” development. They will also inform the development of ESG guiding principles for surety bond underwriting. The Insurance Council of Australia is also a supporting institution, alongside two Australian insurer signatories, Insurance Australia Group (IAG) and TAL.


Part 2 will be posted on October 14.

Business Examples from Around the World – Denmark, Iceland, and Malaysia

Karen Blixen CampAs businesses become more and more engaged in sustainability around the world, we are presented with an increasing range of examples of active companies. However, when I speak with students and faculty, they say that they often hear about the same examples from the same international companies over and over again.

In an attempt to share some new best practice examples, I asked a handful of faculty members from around the world about their favourite classroom examples of local companies that are actively involved in sustainability. Here are some examples from Denmark, Iceland, and Malaysia.

Pernille Kallehave, Aarhus University School of Business and Social Sciences, Denmark

Karen Blixen Camp is an eco-friendly luxury camp along the Mara River in the Maasai Mara. The camp is committed to minimising their impact on the environment with the use of the latest green technologies, including solar panels to power the camp and heat water. They organise donations of material and financial support to community projects relating to water and sanitation, health, education and small-scale enterprise. Apart from incorporating CSR into daily operations, the Camp also established The Hospitality School to equip local Masai youth with various skills for mainstream tourism jobs. This includes a cooking school for youth wanting to become chefs, a forestry school, and a language school.

Grundfos Lifelink is working in Kenya to test groundbreaking technology focused on providing reliable access to water to local communities. Building on 60 years of experience in advanced pump solutions and linking to the strengths of mobile connectivity, the company has developed an automatic water dispenser with an integrated system for revenue collection, and an online water management platform for full transparency and remote management.

Hrefna Sigriour Briem, Director of the B.SC Programme at the School of Business, Reykjavik University, Iceland

Festa – Icelandic Center for Corporate Social Responsibility, is a non-profit organisation founded by six Icelandic companies in 2011. The mission of Festa is to be a knowledge centre for CSR in Iceland and to promote the discussion on CSR in Iceland. In addition it supports companies in implementing CSR strategies and provides a network of companies who want to implement CSR, as well as cooperating with universities by promoting research and teaching of CSR. Founding companies are Rio Tinto Alcan, Íslandsbanki, Landsbankinn, Landsvirkjun, Síminn and Össur. New members include, ÁTVR, Ölgerðin brewery, Capacent, Arion Bank, Innovation Center Iceland, Reykjagarður, ISS Iceland, 112 Iceland and CCP games.  The centre is hosted by Reykjavik University.

Islandabanki is one of Iceland’s commercial banks (approximately 35% market share). The bank has made “building a sustainable future” a core of its strategy. A new social responsibility strategy was formulated and approved in 2014. The emphasis was on ensuring that employees have a comprehensive knowledge of the strategy and its sub-projects. The strategy is detailed in the bank’s annual report.

Vinbudin is the state liquor store (the state holds a monopoly on selling liquor in Iceland). The company has during the past few years made a point of promoting responsible use of alcoholic beverages, made substantial efforts in minimising environmental effects of their operations, and emphasised responsible management and human resource practices. The company thoroughly reports according to GRI standards and carefully monitors its progress. Their annual report carefully details their approach to these issues (available in Icelandic on their website).

Mehran Nejati Abjibisheh, Senior Lecturer, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia

NTPM is a consumer goods and paper company that aims to enhance personal hygiene in every household. NTPM is working to reduce adverse environmental impacts through its production processes. With innovative recycling solutions, the company ensures that potential hazards to food safety are recognised, regulated, prevented, monitored and controlled. They also define objectives and targets and implement programmes to improve the environmental performance that benefit the company and community.

UMW is a leading industrial enterprise with diverse and global interests in the automotive, equipment, manufacturing and engineering, and oil and gas industries. UMW supports many worthy causes in the areas of education, environment and community. They are a Premium Member of PINTAR Foundation since 2007, which focuses on working with schools in particular from rural areas. Almost 14,000 students have benefited from the UMW-PINTAR Programme to date. The SL1M (Skim Latihan 1 Malaysia) is another CSR programme that UMW is actively involved in. SL1M provides an opportunity for young, unemployed and underemployed Malaysian university graduates to gain valuable on-the-job experience and exposure at UMW, while enhancing their soft skills and employability. From 2011 to 2013, 113 graduates have completed their trainings with UMW.


Technology in the Classroom – How Schools are Using it to Teach Sustainability


University of Wollongong IDLE

Technology can be a major distraction for students in the classroom. In fact Penn State and California State University have even developed an app called Pocket Points that rewards students for ignoring their iPhone during class, with discounts and deals from local businesses. Of course technology can also be an important tool to strengthen the curriculum, bring interdisciplinary groups of students together, and engage with the wider community. In this post we look at how Universities are using technology as part of their approach to embed sustainability and responsible management into the curriculum.
Using technology to increase discussions and sharing

Lomonosov Moscow State University Business School in Russia has an agreement with a Social Innovation Lab called Cloudwatcher, a non-profit Moscow based organisation dealing with the new technologies that promote social projects and social entrepreneurship in Russia. Students help find sponsors and volunteer support for different projects through an internet platform created for those who are seeking for support or offer it. Portsmouth Business School in the UK has put in place a number of Technology-Enhanced Active Learning (TEAL) rooms. The layout of these rooms give access to multiple technologies that allow students to share multiple viewpoints and angles giving them a greater ‘systems’ perspective for what they are doing and learning. The eZone at University of Kwazulu Natal in South Africa was developed for students and academics to have a platform to write informative and practical articles that develop entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial thinking, and build collaboration between students, communities, and academics.
University of Curtin in Australia is committed to engaging one million active learners by 2017. One of their approaches is an innovative “Balance of the Planet” challenge, a collaboration with UNESCO Bangkok, which works to engage self-forming, collaborative, international, problem-solving teams across the Asia-Pacific region, to create solutions to addressing sustainable development goals through a digital media learning laboratory. The challenge will be open to anyone aged 18 and above. The criteria for judging solutions ideas will be open, transparent and available to all. Voting and comments on solution ideas will be open and transparent.

Using technology as a basis for research in the community
The Centre for Digital Business at the University of Salsberg in the UK, has an internationally-recognised profile of research in digital technologies. The Centre together with Tameside Council and the Sustainable Housing & Urban Studies Unit (SHUSU), developed an innovative engagement strategy and digital toolkit to support home owners to return their empty properties to use as much-needed affordable housing. This Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) was awarded an outstanding rating—the highest possible—by an independent panel of assessors from Innovate UK.

Using technology to strengthen learning opportunities
Copenhagen Business School (CBS), in Denmark, uses technology as an integral part of bringing sustainability into the curriculum. In their fourth semester, students work to facilitate a sustainable and energy efficient lifestyle with the use of informa¬tion technology, including big data and the Internet of Things. The Smart City online module enables students to apply new ideas in using tech¬nology to better bridge the gap between humans and their energy consumption. This includes exploration of how citizens, governments and corporations can take ideas from research to market. CBS also offers a MOOC on Social Entrepreneurship. In excess of 26,000 people from more than 180 countries signed up for this 12-week online course on how to create societal impact through social entrpreneurship. Students were introduced to examples and guided through the process of identifying an opportunity to address social problems, in addition to how to outline their ideas in a business plan. At the end of the course business plans were submitted by 270 participants and five of those plans made it to the finals.
University of Wollongong’s (Australia) interactive and dynamic learning environment (IDLE) computer simulation, designed and developed by the Faculty of Business in 2014, received first place in local iAwards for innovation technology. IDLE is a total enterprise simulation that incorporates social responsibility and sustainability decisions. The Stockholm School of Economics in Sweden is collaborating with the Financial Times, Technische Universität München in Germany, Foreign Trade University in Vietnam, African School of Economics in Benin, and the Darden School of Business in the USA to use technology to discuss important sustainability topics on an international level. The collaboration involves using current news articles published in the Financial Times, and discussing them in real-time with students from the different schools on the SSE MBA Island in the virtual life platform Second Life.

Using technology to help not for profits and small businesses
Justine Rapp, Assistant Professor of Marketing at the University of San Diego School of Business Administration, won the 2014 Innovation in Experiential Education Award for two experiential learning projects she developed for her Digital Marketing and Social Media course. The first project, called “Google Pay-Per Click Campaigns,” involves students working with two non-profit organisations, USD Electronic Recycling Centre and Skinny Gene Project. Students need to develop an advertising campaign for these groups that are run on Google. The project is split into two parts. For part one, student groups create three different advertisements which run concurrently on Google. After 6 weeks students reconvene and look at the data and readjust the advertisements accordingly. Newly revised ads are then run on Google for another 6 weeks. On the last day of class, everyone comes together to look at the data, and compare successful and unsuccessful measures.
The second project she does in class is a website development project for small businesses in the San Diego area. Each client gets three websites, developed by the students, to choose from at the conclusion of the semester. The project helps support a number of small business owners locally each year who often struggle to build their first professional website and hire a marketing team, whether due to finances, time or logistics, and also helps to support students in launching their marketing careers with some hands-on experience.
Jonkoping International Business School in Sweden established a collaboration to engage students in the practice of crowd-funding, by means of a competition on ecological sustainability. Makers and Bankers is the first financial social platform for crowd-funding with no commission and a 0% interest rate based in Jonkoping. The company was founded by five graduates of the School. Students in the undergraduate course “New Venture Development” participate in the competition, and design social and sustainable venture projects.

Business Schools Engaging in Interdisciplinary Projects to Reach Sustainable Development Goals – Aarhus University and the Maasai Mara in Kenya

20150422_130113Global challenges are often very complex and call for evidence-based solutions across disciplines and sectors. The question is, who can and will take leadership and bring the necessary stakeholders to the table to find sustainable solutions?

Universities and business schools, like Aarhus University School of Business and Social Sciences (Aarhus BSS) in Denmark, are increasingly taking on this role. Initiated by the Interdisciplinary Centre for Organizational Architecture (ICOA), a global challenge has been identified at Aarhus BSS to work on sustainable development challenges with the Maasai Mara in Kenya. I spoke with Program Director Pernille Kallehave from Aarhus University about this ambitious and unique project.

What is the Maasai Mara?

The Maasai Mara is a national reserve named in honour of its ancestral inhabitants, the Maasai people. Thousands of wildebeests migrate every year from the Serengeti plains in Tanzania to eat the juicy grass of the Maasai Mara. While rich mega faunas with large annual migrations like in the Maasai Mara were once common across the earth, they now form a unique African heritage, and survive only in a declining, small part of the continent. The Maasai Mara hence constitutes a unique and irreplaceable part of Africa’s natural heritage. With about one million inhabitants, the Maasai Mara also experiences an increase of the population of 4,7% annually, with a poverty index of 41%, and about 344,000 people living below poverty line. These people need food, jobs, education, infrastructure and health services, and these needs put huge pressure on the land, and increase human-wildlife conflicts. Thus, the Maasai Mara faces challenges in four main categories: land use and climate change, ecosystem challenges, political and economic challenges, and human and cultural challenges.

How did Aarhus become involved with the Maasai Mara?

The Maasai Mara project was initiated by a request from administrators of the Karen Blixen Camp, a safari camp in the Maasai Mara. A year ago, they presented the many challenges of the area for example the ongoing erosion of the area’s iconic wildlife and other key ecosystem components, the human-wildlife conflicts, the climate change, the land tenure system breakdown, and the uncoordinated research activities. They expressed the need for evidence-based knowledge to ensure sustainable development of the region. Intrigued by the challenge, an interdisciplinary group of researchers from the four faculties at Aarhus University and the Justus-Liebig Universät Giessen (Germany) established The Maasai Mara Science and Development Action (MMSDA). Maasai Mara University and University of Nairobi from Kenya soon joined the project.

Researchers in this interdisciplinary network represent a broad variety of perspectives; researchers from biology and agri-ecology will contribute with knowledge about climate change, ecosystem management and food security, and researchers from economy and business will look at the economic drivers and governance challenges of the region. Cultural analysis will be brought in to understand the complex cultural dynamics and the intricate negotiations around heritage and identity. Furthermore, ICOA provides knowledge in developing models that can analyse complex dynamic interdisciplinary organisational problems using statistical as well as simulation models. The models will integrate biological and social data, combining both quantitative and qualitative data.

What are the key features of the programme and how does it work in practice?

The intentions of the MMSDA are fourfold:

  • Develop a research strategy that can meet the research needs of the identified challenges of the Maasai Mara: In April 2015 the first Summit took place at Maasai Mara University. A broad group of academic and non-academic participants provided valuable insights about the challenges. The four universities involved are now developing a catalogue of research ideas. The ideas will be mapped with the challenges to ensure that the research initiatives will be relevant and have a potential to create real impact and sustainable solutions.
  • Develop interdisciplinary analysis tools that can work with the complexity of the challenges. This includes the development of a cross-disciplinary database that can feed data into the analysis tools. To develop the analysis tools, the network connects researchers with different professional backgrounds from Europe and Africa. Later other researchers will be invited to share their data and results via the database for the benefit of the Maasai Mara.
  • Develop strategies for how the results of analysis can be implemented. This is done in collaboration with researchers and stakeholders with local knowledge (Kenyan ministries and universities, companies, local community and institutions, NGOs, conservancies etc.).
  • Facilitate local implementation projects in cooperation with local authorities and population. This requires a special organisation of the project with a number of advisory boards, associate members and a strong outreach strategy. This is being set up now.

A Board of the projects and an interdisciplinary Scientific Board have been elected. They will design a strategy for the activities to support the interdisciplinary cooperation.

What have been some of the lessons you have learnt so far or some of the interesting insights that have come from working on this process?

All involved are very enthusiastic and show a high degree of commitment to the project. Working holistically with an important challenge and in close cooperation with the people, whose lives are affected by the problems, inspires the researchers involved. Research has a new meaning now that publication is not the main goal.

What have been some of the challenges? Successes?

Of course working across continents and culture is always a bit of a challenge, but also makes it very exciting. We are looking forward to starting the dialogue with potential sponsors and getting their feedback. We hope that they will appreciate our holostic approach. This will give them the opportunity to make a difference in a long-term and evidence-based manner.

The Summit at Maasai Mara University 21-23 April 2015 was a great success. The Maasai King came and endorsed the project and so did the Danish Ambassador in Kenya. But most importantly, the local Maasai community came and engaged in the discussions.

What’s next for the initiative? 

We will now define an ambitious 20-year research and development proposal and then go look for funding. We will also start including students in the project and use the Maasai Mara as a case in teaching at various programmes. The next Summit will take place in the spring of 2016 and here we will invite researchers from other universities to come and share their research.

For more on this project visit http://projects.au.dk/maasai-mara-science-and-development-action/




2015 is the International Year of Light – Sustainable Energy (Part 2)

International Year of LightEvery year the UN chooses one or two themes that are celebrated throughout the year by governments, local organisations, businesses and educational institutions. This year was proclaimed the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies, and focuses on the topic of light science and its applications with the aim of recognising the importance of light-based technologies, promoting sustainable development and providing solutions to global challenges in energy, education, agriculture and health. Additionally, access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all is Goal 7 of the proposed Sustainable Development Goals. In celebration of the International Year of Light, the following week will focus on sustainable energy and feature a range of initiatives and programmes implemented on the topic at universities internationally. To view part 1 of this two part series click here.

Several schools are developing new programmes focused on energy related topics, in particular around sustainable and renewable energies. In the Netherlands, Rotterdam School of Management’s Future Energy Business holds a three day programme which aims to prepare students to not only navigate energy business and its advances such as renewable generation, storage, electric mobility and ongoing ICT innovations, but to shape the energy landscape of the future. Participants gain insights into future energy infrastructures, the dynamics of energy markets and stakeholders, and learn the skills needed to develop compelling, actionable strategies and discuss them with leaders in industry and policy.

Toulouse Business School, in France, has developed a specialised Master’s in Sustainable Development and Climate Change in 2008. The programme is accredited jointly by the National Meteorological School and the National School of Life Sciences. The school also offers training on carbon accounting for students more generally across the school.

Glasgow Caledonian University’s (GCU) Centre for Climate Justice is a key member of a 20 month project called, ‘Scotland Lights Up Malawi,’ which aims to encourage communities in Malawi to replace dangerous and costly kerosene lamps, batteries and candles with environmentally more friendly solar lighting that also helps families reduce expenditures and thus has potential to reduce poverty. The project is partly funded by the Scottish Government and involves GCU in partnership with SolarAid establishing the social enterprise in Malawi called SunnyMoney. The enterprise will promote and sell solar lighting.

There are many ways that students are engaging in the topic of sustainable and renewable energy. Master’s students at Sabanci University, in Turkey, organised a case competition in 2014 to bring creative ideas and multi-cultural insights into organising the first Solar Grand Prix Monaco. Organised by Solar 1, with the support of SAS Prince Albert II in partnership with the Monaco Yacht Club, this event aimed to promote the use of solar power in boats, using innovative ideas from young engineers and entrepreneurs worldwide. The students had to draft a mini business plan, summarising their ideas, views and recommendations on how to successfully build up and organise this first and unique event.

On campus students are also coming together into student clubs on energy sustainability, for example at Athens University of Economics and Business, in Greece. The university’s Energy & Sustainability Club involves both students and alumni to raise awareness, and mobilise students and the broader community through workshops, seminars, conferences and short-term field projects. Students from both Copenhagen Business School and the University of Copenhagen, in Denmark, established the Danish Association for Energy Economics chapter, an affiliate of the International Association for Energy Economics. The chapter aims to gather students, companies and researchers to discuss future energy solutions in order to fill a gap in the energy debate in Denmark. The chapter hosts events related to energy policy, research and business.

Finally, universities are exploring how to be more energy efficient within their own campuses. Ivey Business School, in Canada, is doing a lighting retrofit—a five-year plan to eliminate inefficient lighting on campus. Energy-saving T8 ballasts are replacing nearly 50,000 T12 fixtures that illuminate the rooms and halls in dozens of campus buildings. The project will pay for itself through energy savings in about three years. The new fixtures are estimated to use at least 30 per cent less energy than the previous fixtures. In addition to being more efficient, the new lamps also have a greater quality of light output.

The University of Winchester, in the UK, is a member of the Carbon Trust’s Higher Education Carbon Management programme, and a number of initiatives are in place across the campus to cut their carbon footprint. The Business School is part of the University’s commitment to reduce carbon dioxide emissions per square meter to 30% below the 2006 levels by 2016.

Several universities across Europe take place in the annual European Sustainable Energy Week Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, in Italy, uses the opportunity to raise awareness about energy efficiency on its campus. They take part in a campaign called “M’illumino di meno,” which means ‘I am using less light.’ On this day in February, throughout Italy individuals, businesses, monuments turn off their lights as a way of raising awareness about sustainable consumption. Many schools also take part in Earth Hour celebrations (which next year will be on the 19th of March) where millions around the world turn off their lights for one hour as a way to raise awareness about climate change.

2015 is the International Year of Light – Sustainable Energy (Part 1)

Every year the UN chooses one or two themes that are celebrated throughout the year by governments, local organisations, businesses and educational institutions. This year was proclaimed the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies, and focuses on the topic of light science and its applications with the aim of recognising the importance of light-based technologies, promoting sustainable development and providing solutions to global challenges in energy, education, agriculture and health. Additionally, access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all is Goal 7 of the proposed Sustainable Development Goals. In celebration of the International Year of Light, the following week will focus on sustainable energy and feature a range of initiatives and programmes implemented on the topic at universities internationally.

Many academic institutions provide support for entrepreneurs in the field of sustainable energy. The Sustainable Renewable Energy Business Incubator Initiative at Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business, in Trinidad and Tobago, aims to grow and nurture companies operating within the emerging sustainable energy sector, through the provision of business support, facilitation of access to markets, and access to finance as well as technology transfer and joint ventures. Some of the projects to be included in this initiative include a project involving photo voltaic panels for solar generated electricity, recycling and proper tyre disposal used for generation of supplemental fuel substitute and a project involving power generation using tidal power.

There is an increase in courses and electives with a focus on energy. For example, fourth semester BSc students in Business Administration and Information Technology at Copenhagen Business School, in Denmark, use a case called Smart City. In this case, which covers three courses, students work to facilitate sustainable and energy efficient lifestyles through the use of information technology, including big data and the Internet of Things. The Smart City case enables students to apply new ideas using technology to better curb high energy consumption. This includes exploration of how cities, governments and corporations can take ideas from research to the market.

The University of Applied Sciences HTW Chur, in Switzerland, is part of a research consortium of four different universities investigating the future of Swiss hydropower. The research will be based on local case studies with industry partners and local stakeholders. Students at the school have also been engaged in sustainable energy projects. A group of students recently produced a short video clip called “2048” that envisions the future of energy production as a private activity. The video won the 2014 Sustainability Award of the Swiss Foundation Consumer forum. The University also has a Masters in advanced studies in energy economics. The school has also recently installed energy efficient lighting schemes and is installing a new control system for energy consumption that provides real time data.

At Boston University, in the USA, Clean Energy and Environmental Sustainability Initiative (CEESI) was established to engage university resources to help prepare for a world where increasing demand for energy resources must be balanced with environmental, economic, and social sustainability. Boston University’s approach is interdisciplinary, with CEESI involving faculty and staff from the Colleges of Arts & Sciences, Engineering, and School of Management to coordinate a university-wide vision for research and academic programmes relating to this challenge. CEESI is responsible for new education and research programmes in energy-related areas, the Presidential Lecture Series and other events, coordination with campus-wide activities, general operating policy, communications, and related matters affecting Boston University’s sustainable energy objectives.

At the University of St. Gallen, in Switzerland, the Good Energies Chair for Management of Renewable Energies is an industry-sponsored chair focused on developing a competence centre for research and teaching in the fields of renewable energies and energy efficiency. The position focuses on innovative business models and committed entrepreneurship. The chair investigates how the shift towards renewable energies can be accelerated through the interaction between private investments, consumer behaviour and effective energy policies.

Sustainable Buildings on Campus (Part 2)

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 15.55.33Engaging in sustainability and responsible leaders goes beyond the classroom curriculum. It must also be engrained into the business school itself on its campus. A growing number of business schools and universities are not just putting in place strategies to ‘green’ their buildings on campus, but certifying these buildings through different national and international schemes.

There has been a significant rise in a mix of voluntary certification and mandatory requirements for both new buildings and existing constructions that are changing the way University campuses look around the globe. These standards provide guidance on creating more sustainable buildings through a wide range of topics including, but not limited to site selection, energy efficiency and sourcing, materials, construction practices, water efficiency and use, the design of the space and landscaping. In Part 1 we looked at LEED certified campuses (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) across the US. Here in Part 2, we look at a number of Sustainable Buildings around the world.

The John Molson School of Business building at Concordia University in Canada is LEED Silver certified. The 37,000 square metre, 15-storey building incorporates bright atriums, modern classrooms, and several auditoriums and amphitheatres. The low-flow plumbing fixtures throughout the building reduced water consumption by 45%, and a green roof on the fourth floor has a seating area with a garden to promote cultivation projects. The building’s southwest wall is considered the first even ‘solar wall’ in the world with solar panels stretching the length of the wall covering a surface of approximately 300 square metres. The photovoltaic panels will generate up to 25 kW of electricity and 75 kW of heat—that’s enough energy to turn on 1,250 CFL light bulbs, and provide heat for seven Canadian homes throughout the year. The greening project was funded by the NSERC Solar Buildings Research Network, based at Concordia University, which brings together twenty-six Canadian researchers from eleven universities to develop the solar optimised homes and commercial buildings of the future.

CEIBS became the first business school in China to have a LEED Gold certified building. This is thanks to an initiative started in 2007 by a handful of MBA students. Over the years other students continued their work in the initiative, and by 2010 one of the major goals was ensuring that the end result of a planned campus expansion project would be a green building. The building relies heavily on innovative wastewater technology to maintain pools of water that surround the campus. An on site treatment facility converts 180 tonnes of waste water per day and through that the school saves 54,000 tones of potable water each year.

In India the Great Lakes Institute’s 27-acre campus is LEED Platinum certified. It uses natural daylight and maintains further energy efficiency through solar energy and solar water heaters used throughout the building. Rainwater is harvested through percolation ponds and tanks across campus and greywater is produced on campus and reused in different ways such as for lavatories and gardening. An organic herbal garden including native vegetation promotes biodiversity on campus.

Porto Business School in Portugal earned LEED Gold certification on their new facilities in 2014, the first building in Portugal to receive this level of certification. Three artificial lakes that collect rainwater are partly used for lavatories and irrigation. The buildings have efficient air conditioning and lighting systems, and the intensity of the light is automatically adjusted by daylight and space occupancy in a room. A wide variety of recycled and non-toxic materials were used in the construction of the building.

LEED is of course by no means the only green building standard. Many countries have their own standards. The University of Bradford’s ‘The Green’ received the highest rating from BREEAM, a UK design and assessment method for sustainable buildings used internationally. ‘The Green,’ the student accommodation on the university’s main campus, is a ten-block student residential village with 1,026 bedrooms. Hot water is pre-heated by solar thermal panels and food waste is quickly composted on site. Landscaping includes vegetable beds and orchards for students to use—only planted with indigenous plants—as well as beehives. The aim of the building is to promote a sense of community among the students

In Australia, the Green Building Council of Australia awards Green Star certifications. For example, Curtin University received a Green Star rating for their plans to transform 114 hectares of one of their campuses through urban regeneration over a 20-year period that supports an urban economy based on education, business, technology, housing, public transportation, the arts and recreation. Monash University has a number of Green Star certified buildings. One of their buildings has a 1-megawatt co-generation plant that generates electricity and heating for the building and the wider campus, lights with sensors that adjust to daylight levels and occupancy, and basement tanks that hold harvested storm water and rainwater for use in toilet flushing, landscape irrigation and the building’s cooling system. Another building used for low cost student housing features the largest residential solar installation in Australia, as well as greywater treatment onsite, which is stored along with rainwater, for flushing, washing machines and irrigation.

The Australian Catholic University also has a Green Star building. Here the heating and cooling system is designed to adapt to the natural seasons, weather cycles and the general flow of people in the building. An under floor vent system helps keep the temperature at 21-25 degrees all year round. When the temperature hits 25, cool air flushes through vents integrated into the carpet tiles, and the vents pump warm air out when the temperature drops to 21. Floor to ceiling windows and unusually high ceilings let in enough natural light that artificial light is rarely needed.

The Green Building Council of South Africa also has a Green Star system similar to Australia. The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Business School’s new building is the first in South Africa to receive a green design rating from this programme. Though the school found that doing the certification added up to 20% on initial building costs, they expect to recover those costs over the first year, through efficient lighting, solar energy and water use. The building uses 60% less energy than similar buildings and 75% less water due to low flow fittings.


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